Getting the buzz out: helping the bee population
GALESBURG, Mich.-- You might be hearing a buzz around your home, and you are not alone!
As the summer continues on we are finding ourselves in prime bee season where we will be seeing more of these insects out and about.
But these small insects are facing huge problems.
While they may not be at the front of our worry radar, local educators say we need to start changing our ways to alleviate some problems for these pollinators who are so vital to our own existence.
“So we tend to focus on the importance of them to our food production right? Which is very significant bu we also have to understand that for a tree to reproduce they have to in most cases be pollinated at some point and trees provide us with oxygen so pollinators aren’t only apart of our food source but theta re also apart of the trees and plants that provide oxygen too," said owner of the Great Lakes Bee Supply store, Riffton Graham.
Problems that typically come from humans just trying to make their lives a little easier--like getting rid of those unattractive dandelions.
“But dandelions are the first major food source for pollinators in the spring," said Graham.
The improper disposal of liquids, the spraying or use of pesticides, even the way we mow the lawn are all acts that can potentially hurt bees.
“Spraying of EEE which format contribute to any positives as far as pollinators are concerned. Habitat losses, we still have a pesticide miss use problems with our food production you know native and honey bees and pollinators in general are just attacked from many different sides that they continue to struggle," said Graham.
Local educators recommend that home owners start thinking more proactively.
“Just trying to still do the things we need and want to do but paying a little more attention to the impact it has on our pollinators," said Graham.
Thankfully there are many ways to help!
“Being a beekeeper or buying a native bee house helps. Giving them a safe place to thrive is always helpful," said Graham.
But if that is a little to hands on for you, doing small things, like letting a small patch of your lawn grown out can be helpful!
“You can let your drainage ditches grow back up. Provide some natural habitat. Homeowners can put in perennial gardens made of native flowers and native plants," said Graham.
Just being mindful of the things you are using to move or kill plants also plays a large part because when doing that, you might accidentally be moving or killing these crucial creatures.
As this is prime bee season you also might be noticing swarms of bees near posts, fences, or even your car.
Do not panic: when bees are swarming, especially the honey bees, this is when the bees are most docile and will not go out of their way to harm you.
A good rule of thumb, year round, is if the bees are not actively trying to harm you or your pets--just let them be!
If this conversation is getting you excited about potentially owning your own bee hive--reach out to the Great Lakes Bee supply company for more information or any general questions you may have.
You can also reach out to local Master Gardener's who would be able to assist and answer any bee related questions you might have.